Thursday, December 15, 2011

Japanese kimono and Chinese garment exhibition

A few hours ago was a Japanese kimono and Chinese garment exhibition in the Chalmer Davee Library on the university campus, with Japanese language instructor Magara Maeda shown here, showing how a kimono is put on and taken off. Various Japanese 101 students were also packed into the small space. I will say this town is blessed with so many cultural events and people willing to put them on and go to them. I have had a couple years of Japanese, and some self taught, but sadly through lack of use it tends to get a bit muddy in my mind, not to mention my horrible shyness makes me doubt myself, so yeah. I need to work on that.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

River Dazzle

Here is a shot of downtown with the streets closed off and people starting to gather, and the obligatory Packers fan. Speaking of the Packers, i'm not a huge sports fan, but it's pretty impressive that they've gone undefeated this season, lots of people i know are thrilled. A lot more people gathered for this, as it wasn't so cold as it could be, even though not spring like by any stretch of the imagination, it wasn't bad and the precipitation waited to start until a good deal afterwards. It's currently raining here now, not sure if it will turn icy or snow, hopefully not.

Friday, November 25, 2011

River Dazzle Parade Santa

Here is Santa in the River Dazzle parade that i just got back from. It wasn't too chilly when i left, but although i dressed pretty warm, my nose got a bit chilly. As usual i wasn't surprised to see collage age kids not wearing winter jackets, some no jackets at all. There is more to the River Dazzle than i got pictures of, a rather varied chili cook off, twenty or so vendors, races, a display with camels and llamas in the park, etc. but i have a sick pet rabbit that has me worried, so only went to the parade. I'll be going through the photos later, but wanted to get one up today at least.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

First substantial snow

It snowed today, quite a lot actually, and i thankfully saw my first wild rabbit in a long time in my yard. Since i've had my front yard redone, i haven't seen any, and i was worried that they lost a lot of where they could hide, and it made me sad as it was always a bright spot to see them under the bushes. I doubt the snow will stay, its supposed to get warmer later in the week, not hugely warm, but enough to melt.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Drag Show Performer

Here is one of the performers at the drag show. Not in order, this was her third outfit i believe, and i love the way the lights play off her hair and the feathers. Sadly, i totally forgot her stage name, along with all the other people who got on stage, and there wasn't a program either printed or on the web site, so sorry that with my horrible memory they will have to go unnamed.

I'm still trying to whittle down the amount of photos to the best ones, something i really do need to work on with my photography, i tend to "like" too many, and post them all, and i've read that ends up making even the best ones look worse. Oh well, hopefully i'll get that in my brain sooner rather than later.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Line for the Drag Show

Last night was the UW-River Falls Drag Show, and this was the line about half an hour before start. I didn't bring a wide angle lens, so you might not be able to tell, but it started a good deal from the left, stretched along to the right, and then down to where i was, and then went even further. It was insane, i never expected this many people, but a pleasant surprise, as the event was in support of The Trevor Project, which aims to help with ending bullying and suicide among LGBTQ teens. I have a ton of photos to go through, and am still getting over the horrible flu i had, so it will take some time to get them all up.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Culture Fest 2011 - Thai Sword Fighting

Here is the portion that was the Thai Traditional Sword Fighting, with Keng and Damrong. Last year they did a presentation to the theme to Mortal Kombat, also with a lot of humor. Before the fighting, the one guy told a silly joke and gave out cups with the Twilight Characters on them. They also spent a good while after the sword fighting cleaning up the dust that was used to make it dramatic.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Culture Fest 2011 - Fashion Show

Here are some of the people in the fashion show part that all got on stage together and lined up at the end part. My lens wasn't as wide as it could be to get them all in.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Culture Fest 2011

Last night was Culture Fest at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls, and it seems like they got the word out, it was pretty packed. Not standing room only, as there were a few seats, but a whole lot more than the last time i went. I took a lot of photos and it will take a while to get through them as i also have either a pretty bad cold or that flu that's going around, didn't feel so hot last night either, but glad i made it. This was one of the groups that really impressed me, doing the second of the girls performances. So while not in chronological order, it's one of my favorites just quickly looking at the photos. The program described them as "Asian Media Access Dance", although the MCs described them as a group front the Twin Cities of Hmong dancers, of various ages. Sadly, my brain wasn't all there, and i have completely forgotten their actual name. I'll try to find it out later, though.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

Today is Halloween, and since i've not really been out and about, here is a scary photo of a fly that i took a while ago. It's a fly, and that fly is in River Falls, so it counts, right? ;) As annoying as they are normal sized, they are pretty freaky when you magnify them. I'm not the best at macro photography, but i sure do enjoy the results, seeing what is usually hidden from view or goes unnoticed.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Songs of the Body, Modern Dance

Here is Mari Kline doing one of the modern dances. I'll admit i'm a bit lost when it comes to modern dance, i understand it's very open to interpretation, and you don't always know the intent of the performer. It was interesting and fun though. I don't have a video of her dance, it just wouldn't upload for some reason.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Songs of the Body, Middle Eastern

Here is Jen Bush doing a middle eastern dance performance. She had a couple costume changes, and in the picture she did a mix of middle eastern and flamenco dance, which was really interesting. You can also see that the dancers were pretty close to the crowd, and how hard it was to figure the lighting in there, with basically overhead lights and large windows that allowed the sun to come in.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Songs of the Body, Bharatanatyam

Here is Jocelyn Gorham doing a presentation of her dance. Before she danced she gave a description of what the dance was, which i included a part of below. It was very lovely and detailed, and she did a great job.

Unrelated, been having horrible internet lately, i have AT&T, although i don't know if it's connected to being them, and this post took over an hour to get up as it's been dropping me off most of the day. I've only had a couple of hours online total today, and about that all week. Disconnects constantly, slower speed than i'm supposed to get, almost dial up slowness actually. I've been looking into switching, but when i talk to the only other option of high speed internet, they seem to think my house is a business and keep not believing me that it's not, and only want to talk business plans. Ugh, and it's supposed to snow soon. Sorry the complaints were longer than the description of the event.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Songs of the Body, Ballet

Here is Lynne Butenhoff showing off some ballet, to various songs from Swan Lake, although i forget which. Again, the carpet caused some problems. Also again, a short clip below of one of her dances.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Songs of the Body, Ballroom

Here are Gary and Nancy Sukowatey doing one of their ballroom dances, although as a lot of the people performing said, the carpet wasn't ideal. They have a dance studio in Roberts, WI, but i'm unable to find a webpage for it, although it does show up on the yellow pages. They showed several different ballroom styles, i forget which exactly though. Below is a short video of one of their dances.

Side note, someone i had met at one of these events previously asked me if anything else cultural was coming up soon, and i just discovered that there is going to be another Culture Fest 2011 on November 9th at 6 pm in North Hall on campus. I took photos of the one last year, and as usual i have a set up on flickr of them. Not sure if she will see this before then, but hopefully those who might be interested in it will now know.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Songs of the Body, venue

This is where Songs of the Body took place, the lower level of the local library. Normally it's a gallery of local art, or other displays, but for this and and the martial arts thing the day before, they move things around and place chairs there. Not long after this they are going to get started on the haunted house that is down there. It's for smaller children, and is a pretty big deal from what i hear.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Songs of the Body

I just got back from this Songs of the Body presentation at the local library. It was very interesting and fun, sad i missed the martial arts exhibition there yesterday morning, but i wasn't feeling so hot and couldn't make it. Glad i did make this today, more photos will follow, but this will be a little bit of a tease of what to expect.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Attack of the Moon Zombies

I just got back from a screening of Attack of the Moon Zombies at the University Center of UW-River Falls, and after there was a question and answer session with the maker Christopher R. Mihm from the Twin Cities. It was a very fun throwback to 1950s sci-fi films, B-movie ones, especially similar to Roger Corman. It was impressive he's basically made a film a year since 2006, and seems to really enjoy making them in his basement mostly. As to the film, starts slower and gets more into the flow as it goes, but that is also kind of how a lot of 50s sci-fi movies were.

On an unrelated note, i was housebound for a week after the previous photo as my car was in the shop for a bad anti-theft immobilizer that prevented me from starting the car. Thankfully it went out for good only about a mile from home, in front of a business i am close with the owners and employees. Thanks goes out to them again for giving me a drive home.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

UW-River Falls Art Installations 2011

Yesterday was the first day of the art installations being around campus over on the university. Some very interesting ones out there, i seemed to have missed a few, but the rest of the ones i did get are over on my flickr in a set. It was also very unseasonable as when i was leaving at around 5pm the thermometer on the bank and in my car both said 88 degrees Fahrenheit. Not sure when normal fall weather is going to return, but it's weird being so warm with fall colors out.

How the university described the Art Installations:

"What better way to enjoy today's beautiful warm weather than by a walk around campus to view the creations of more than 300 students from various UWRF art courses. Some 54 sites feature faculty and student outdoor works of art to view as part of the 20th Annual Outdoor Art Installation. This masking tape bike on the edge of KFA offers you a lesson on perspective as you view it from different angles. Everyone is asked to please respect the artistic ideas and to not alter or damage the artwork. Site maps identifying the individual installations can be picked up in Gallery 101 or 172 KFA. The installation goes through Friday."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

more fall colors

More fall colors from the north part of town, still in city limits, so as you can imagine, it's a pretty small town with the rural in it. This is actually a park, between the hill and farm area. Not really sure what else i can say here, other than the weather is nice and loving the colors.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

fall colors

Here are some of the trees changing colors on the north part of town, not the most artistic or professionally  done photo of it, but it's getting pretty out there. Some years it changes in a day, or goes right from green to brown, but this year there are a lot of pretty colors. Did i mention it's been getting up to 80 degrees fahrenheit lately? Because that's pretty warm for October, especially since not long ago we had freezing temperatures. Still getting chilly at night, but this is a nice break. Even if it is weird seeing fall colors with such warm weather.

Sorry for the lack of photos, been in a not so great place, still not quite out of it, but will try better to get more photos.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Just too hot

Here is a blue jay trying to bear the heat tuesday. It barely closed it's mouth, and held it's wings away from it's body, while looking at the food and water i put out. I'm not exaggerating when i say it's been hot, it hit officially 99F here in town, a record and over 20 degrees over average. It's been this way for a few days, over the weekend it got near 90, but the last two days were high 90s. It's actually buckled pavement on the interstate near town, and closed several of them. Pretty crazy. The squirrels were also having a rough time by my deck, moving slowly, they grabbed some of the food, but not as eagerly as usual. It does look like the temps will be going back to normal soon, at least i hope so.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Old cars in town

While going to run errands in town, i noticed a lot, and i do mean a lot, they lined the northbound road for a block and some cars on other blocks too, of classic and antique cars. This is just one, i have twelve more on my flickr. There were several Model A Fords, some black, some beige. Model As will always have a special place in my heart, as my uncle Al restored old cars, had a lot of them, and after he passed he left a lovely Model A to my parents. I took a small engine class in high school, but i'm envious of people who can fix cars and even more so those that can restore them. Every time i've tried to fix something on my car (minor stuff, lights, etc) i get frustrated or it doesn't go the way i expected.

The drivers were all in the South Fork Cafe, probably getting ice cream, as when i was out it was 90F, and climbing. I'm pretty sure these cars don't have air conditioning, and it's not only hot, but humid too. Hopefully no bad storms hit them while they are out, especially hail.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Bunnies

Before getting ready to go out yesterday, i spotted a wild rabbit in my yard eating the dandelions. I watched for a while, and a second one joined in. They didn't fight, but they did seem to not 'know' each other, dancing around each other and checking each other out. I take it as a good sign when i see wild bunnies being happy, and it usually does a pretty good job of making me smile, at least for a little while. In the may issue of National Geographic, there is an infographic of how many animals of different types that were killed for food in 2009, and there were 1.1 billion (with a B) rabbits, that doesn't even count those tested on for makeup, drugs, weapons testing, and for the fur, and whatever else people do to them. Did you know that the human HPV vaccine was found because of them? Sometimes the wild rabbits around here have symptoms of Shope papilloma virus (the rabbit version of HPV, the H stands for Human by the way), and it was the study of the rabbit version that lead to the human vaccine. Sadly didn't really lead to any help for the rabbits, i am leery to even let them play outside as the rabbit version can be spread by mosquitos and other insects that feed on blood. Anyway, people seem to assume the only reason i care about them is because they are cute, but there are many, many reasons, and knowing more about what we do to them and they have done for us makes me love them more.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Today is Memorial Day, wasn't sure if the events were going to be outside or in the middle school as storms have been rolling through yesterday and today. Not sure why the third guy from the left is giving me that look.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Unity in the Community 2011 - Cuban Dance

Last up at the University was a Cuban dance, i forget the name of it, but it was a dance to get ready for battle. The men had clenched fists, and the women had open hands. Very energetic with lots of motion and the men leaping over each other. This was the last event at the University that i caught, before i headed over to the Library in the evening, where some events were the same, but others different.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Unity in the Community 2011 - H2DC

Here is the hip hop dance group H2DC, i forget if they are part of the dance theater, but i'm guessing so, or at least a student group. They also performed at some of the other events there i photographed, if they look familiar. I do want to say those two microphone stands were my bane, without getting up in people's faces (which i hate to do) they kept getting into my frame, and were hard to avoid. Didn't help that i wasn't feeling so hot then (and still) that i wasn't up to moving around too much.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Unity in the Community 2011 - Sisters and Brothers of Islam

Here are the Sisters and Brothers of Islam group (two of them at least in the photo) doing what they called a hair dance, and in the later part there was a lot of hair movement. This group performs several times, but they do a good job, so i don't get sick of seeing them perform.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Unity in the Community 2011 - Native American Council

Here is the student who is presenting the Native American Council with a few dances. Very vibrant clothes, and very energetic dancing. She reminded me of the pow wows i've been to.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Unity in the Community 2011 - Spoken Word Poetry

Next up was spoken word poet, Sydney Arnold, a student at the university, who did three poems if i remember right. I was taken aback at first as she reminded me a lot of a weird blend of two of my ex-girlfriends, although it's hard to explain exactly why. Not that it matters, just thinking about it.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Happy Easter, and since it's Easter, i'm posting a photo of two of my pet bunnies, Amanda and Jerry, who are going to be spoiled today, as they help me get out of the bed even when i feel bad physically and emotionally (like this weekend, partly sick, partly other stuff). Not sure what else to say, other than i hope everyone is doing well and hopefully it's warmer and nicer weather where they are.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Unity in the Community 2011 - Mongolian Foot Juggling

Next up was the Mongolian Foot Juggling performer. She did some impressive things with her feet, then went into a costume change and a dance, then showed some items like a miniature house, clothes, and other things.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Unity in the Community 2011 - Jasiri X

Here is Jasiri X, master of ceremonies for Unity in the Community, introducing the various acts and showing videos of songs he did on the projection screen. Odd that the light was so bright that it made it hard to see a lot of the videos.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Unity in the Community 2011

Yesterday was the main day for the Unity in the Community events in town, and while they were planned to be outside at both the university and downtown locations, it being 30F and snowing moved them inside, thankfully. I'm a little slow going through the photos due to not feeling so hot, probably from the weather and a thing that is going around, so i wanted to get something up today at least.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mock Crash

This evening there was a mock drunk driving crash on the campus of UW-River Falls. It was interesting, i got there quite early and watched them set up, get the "victims" ready, and then present it, and i was very impressed how professional they all were and how seriously they took it. From what i could tell though the people watching, not so much. Some of them did, but a lot were goofing around. I know, it's fake, no one was really hurt, but after seeing so many actually get hurt by drunk driving and not paying attention, it's frustrating seeing so many people on cell phones, not paying attention, etc.

Just the other day, i stopped at a crosswalk for an elderly woman to cross, the same crosswalk where a lady was killed by someone who says they "didn't see her", and i was almost rear ended by an SUV. I was stopped, and saw a large object coming fast in my rear view, and heard tires squeal. It got less than a foot from my car before stopping. I don't know if they were on a cell or what, but i drive a bright yellow vehicle, recently had new brake lights installed, and they should have had plenty of time to stop if they were paying attention, going slower, or whatever caused this. If they had hit me, it would have probably pushed me into the crosswalk, hitting the woman. The irony of this, a few blocks later there was a car accident with an ambulance.

People don't take cars seriously, and how dangerous they are. Road rage is another common problem too, so many people get mad if someone goes too slow, passes them, etc. You wouldn't believe how many times where i pass someone who is going quite slowly (ten to fifteen mph below the speed limit), and when i pass them, they speed up like i'm trying to race them (i've been told it's because i drive a VW New Beetle, for some reason).  Life is too short to get upset over something that can spiral out of control.

Drive safely, pay attention, and calm down. Not only your life, but the lives of others depends on it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mid April Snow

It snowed last night, quite a lot from what i hear around 3 to 6 inches, and this was taken around noon so some had melted. We are also predicted to get snow sunday too, although the weather is so unpredictable lately, who knows. Usually all the snow is gone before my birthday (sunday), but this year it doesn't seem like it will be.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring flower

I was out in my yard yesterday, seeing what has come up, and while i had my IR camera with me, i saw some of these purple and orange flowers blooming. Not sure what types they are, and it doesn't really look the color with the eye as it does here, it was nice to see some things coming up and blooming as the trees don't even have leaves yet, although they do have buds. This is sort of a mixed bag, as when i last checked the weather forecast, they were predicting possible snow on saturday, the day before my birthday. I'm more than ready for green and no more snow, but that might not be the case.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Downtown in IR

I had one of my older digital cameras converted to IR by Lifepixel, as they had (and seems still are) a huge sale where i got it near half off. I had always wanted to do it, and that sale just sold me on it. Took close to a month to get back, as they were really busy, but i feel it was worth it. It came today and since it was got close to the 70s today, it was a good time to get out of the house, with all the stress in politics and other world events.

I had just stopped at the red light, which oddly doesn't show up in IR, so i knew i had time to get off a quick shot. The exposure and such could be better, but i like it. The sky was actually bright blue, with small wispy clouds, not the odd green it looks like. This is the main intersection in town, where Main (which runs north south) crosses Cascade (which goes mostly east west and passes the University). The hotel head is pretty new, and has already changed franchise, and i'm not sure or not if they are still using it for student overflow from the dorms.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Late snow

The weather the last few days has been odd to say the least, started out with thunderstorms tuesday early morning, and continued off and on through the day. Turned to freezing rain as the sun went down, and then to snow. We in River Falls got a good deal, not sure how much, but past ankle depth. Several schools have closed in the Twin Cities due to it, and it's a very heavy snow too. This probably won't help with the flooding issues the rivers south of here have been dealing with. I know it's technically spring, but i can't wait until it really feels like it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Life in a small rural town

Taken before the St. Patrick's Day events, but didn't have anything to do with the events, it's just a relatively common sight in a small rural town, a large tractor (or other farm equipment) driving down main slowly. Not too fun getting stuck behind them while on the road though, so many no passing zones and they go so slowly.

On another note, there are a lot more pictures of St. Patrick's Day in a set on my Flickr. Probably won't post many of them here like i've been doing of the other events, but who knows.

Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Bed Races

Thursday was St. Patrick's Day, and in the evening there were 'bed races' by various groups. This group kind of bent the rules, which were three wheels, but didn't mean they all had to be on the ground. Didn't help them though, i don't think they won as they kept pulling to one side or the other. The beds raced down one side of the street, the main street is split down the middle with trees and parking, then they shot hoops at the end, then raced back up the other side.

The day started out really warm for this time of year, and very sunny, as the rain seemed to not even get near here, but it started getting really cold as the sun started going down. There were a lot of people who didn't seem to realize how cold it feel, as they were not wearing jackets and some even were in shorts.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

UW-RF International Bazaar 2011: H2DC

Not sure if H2DC is the band they are dancing to or the routine, but their outfits were colorful and htey did a fun dance. They were also the last event of the night, so this is the end of the International Bazaar posts, as usual you can see all that i posted in a set on my flickr.

Side note, thursday there are St. Patrick's Day events downtown, and while it warmed up nicely in the last day or two, they are predicting rain, so i'm not sure if they will go on or not. I guess if pictures of them appear after this, they did.

Video of the start of the H2DC dance:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

UW-RF International Bazaar 2011: Hmong Dance

Here is the Hmong dance portion, please ignore the out of focus part at the beginning of the video. I loved the colors of the outfits, and the dance was lovely.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

UW-RF International Bazaar 2011: Eien (BoA)

Here the dance team perform the song Eien by BoA (at least that's what's on the program, i don't really know the band or song enough to say really).

Monday, March 14, 2011

UW-RF International Bazaar 2011: Magic Trick

After the previous act, the next group wasn't ready, so the one presenter decided to pass the time with a magic trick. He had someone come up from the audience and pick a card. Then had her show it to the audience, put it back in the deck, and then put the deck in his mouth. Here he is showing the wrong card, after which he did some other things, and then eventually pulled the correct card out of his mouth. He has quite a bit of flair to his act and is quite funny too.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

UW-RF International Bazaar 2011: La Adelita and El Marabino

La Adelita and El Marabino by Rogelio Carrera, with video below.
Not feeling so hot, so keeping this short.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

UW-RF International Bazaar 2011: Oendan

Here are the Japanese students doing oendan, which is essentially Japanese cheerleading. I had camera troubles right before this, as i switched to a different memory card right before this, and it gave me errors a little bit after they started, and had to format it again, so i lost a lot of the shots of them.

Before the clip, i'd like to say my thoughts and hopes are with the Japanese exchange students and people there. The earthquake and it's after effects are just seeming to get worse as time goes on. From what i know, most of the local students are from south Japan, so hopefully their families are all safe, i do have pen palls up north though, in Tokyo and farther, and thankfully they all seem to be okay.

Friday, March 11, 2011

UW-RF International Bazaar 2011: Chinese Song Combo

Here is a Chinese Song Combo singing a song i have no clue the name of, but they were good. They started on the main stage, then moved to the protrusion to finish up. Made for difficult lighting, but they did a good job.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

UW-RF International Bazaar 2011: Purple Love

Here are Jackson Chung and Becky Ji singing Purple Love. I didn't get so many good shots or video of them as they were at the edge of the stage and not lit very well. The song was good and they did a great job, but the lighting was a problem.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

UW-RF International Bazaar 2011: AKB48

Here are some of the Japanese students dancing to a song by AKB48, again with a short clip below. Which song, i have no idea, but it was amusing. Not sure if it was exactly para para dancing, but it reminded me of what i've seen of that.